With enriched art, culture, and history the adorable tourism magnet India attracts the attention of every travel lover. The spots to visit in India are limitless. You also have the option of choosing your spots according to your interests and preferences. It is really a great country with diversity in nature, cultures, and religions. But every place has its own pros and cons. You need to be a little attentive and active to save yourself from these. So don’t just book your flights to India for the trip, also read about these common tourist scams while travelling India.
Taxi/ Auto scam
Taxi and auto scams are common in India. And if you are a foreigner then you are the favorite targeted victim. In this scam, the taxi or auto driver pretends that the taxi meter is broken and asks for an unfair flat fare. Some taxi/auto will not have a meter. Sometimes, their meter run super-fast, and drivers do set the meter at a higher tariff. Taxi/Auto drivers also clearly refuse to turn on the meter.
So if you are travelling India and need to opt for a taxi in India, make sure to use a metered taxi. And you should also know that it is against the law to operate a taxi in India without a meter. In case the taxi driver doesn’t use the meter, he can take you wherever he wants at a higher fare; it’s a simple trick of squeezing more money out of you. In case you have no other option, then negotiate the fare first and make sure the fare covers the luggage and all passengers, not just a single person.
Unofficial tour guides
India is a vast country to travel to. Sometimes travellers think to book a travel guide, so many people claim to be tour guides. In this case, some are genuine, some are not. You will find these unofficial tour guides lurking at the historical and religious attractions more often. They target mainly foreign tourists and then charging exorbitantly. The bad thing about this is these guides will often not show you all round a location. Besides that, they will convince you that the remaining spots are closed or they are not accessible to tourists. They take you to their ‘commission-based’ shop or restaurant only. You are advised to use your best judgment while hiring a guide.
Fast-track admission service scam
You might be aware of the population of India. Besides the numbers of tourists come to India to travel and explore tourist places, so standing in a long queue is a common thing. In this case, this is a common scam that pops up now and again. If the queue for the tourist attraction is long, these scammers will approach you to buy their fast-track admission service. Once you give them money they get vanish into the air. Again, be wary of such people! I strongly advise you to follow the queue rather than losing money to a scammer.
Temple donation scam
In India, a number of tourist places are not less. People come here to pray and get blessings. Some grand temples in India are the best example of art and architecture. Hence you can easily be a victim at places like this. In the whole scenario, people at the religious places will approach you and then claim to be temple officials. The next thing they will do is to ask for a hefty donation. But eventually, you will find that these are definitely not the temple officials, so beware. Even if they are, there is no obligation to give the donation in a temple in India. You can simply deny giving the money. In case they keep bothering or irritating you don’t hesitate to involve the police.
Fake money Scam
Fake money scam is still there in India however, the Indian government has taken several measures to deal with fake money. These scammers target the tourists who are unfamiliar with the look and feel of the correct notes. Sometimes even the most savvy locals fall into this trap. Not every person is honest, but there are some who will take advantage of you. In scams like this, you give a note (500 or 2000) to the merchant/driver to return the balance. They swap with a fake note that he already has and claim that the bill you handed over to him was fake.
You can avoid this from happening by acquainting yourself with the Indian currency and give the exact change whenever possible.
Unreasonably high bar tab
You will get to see highly unreasonable bars spread throughout the country. Barkeeps can add an extra cocktail to your bill and add the service charge on that incorrect bill. In case you find out and ask the bartender to amend your tab, they will say sorry and subtract the price of the drinks from your bill, but not rectify the service charge. So, I advise you to request a completely new bill made with the correct amount and service charge. Be a little active even while partying and keep the record of the drinks you’ve had. Check the price carefully before ordering and make a rough estimate of the final bill.
Which places come in your mind after hearing about India? Delhi, Kolkata or Mumbai? Because these are the major big cities of India. Here People generally use the train to commute from one place to another. So train-ticket scam is another common scam that has long existed in India especially in metro cities, like Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. In this scam, people outside the railway station will tell you that the train ticket office is closed or the train is fully booked, and now you need to buy the ticket from their shop. They will often claim these tickets government-approved. But in actual it is not.
What are the Common Tourist Scams while travelling India?
- Taxi/ Auto scam
- Unofficial tour guides
- Fast-track admission service scam
- Temple donation scam
- Fake money Scam
- Unreasonably high bar tab
- Train-ticket scams
Is travel in India safe?
Yes, India is safe to travel. Sometimes women can unwelcome reactions but there are helplines to protect women. You need to be little alert and active while travelling.
What precautions to take when traveling to India?
- Get ready for a Culture Shock
- Buy some Diarrhea Tablets
- Explore Beyond the Cities
- Cover yourself properly
- Don’t forget to take off Your Shoes before Entering a Temple
- Buy a SIM Card for your phone
- Be prepared for Religious Scams